Jeanmarie Grahn to be Honored at Concert for Life — Dec. 3

This year Good Counsel Homes‘ Rockland Concert for Life fundraiser will honor Jeanmarie Grahn, one of the co-founders of the Rockland Right to Life Committee. Jeanmarie has been with Rockland RTL for over 40 years and now currently serves as secretary.

Many of you have known  Jeanmarie over the years through her Right to Life work or perhaps have met her in one of the myriad of  helping roles to which she so generously gives of herself.

Whether it’s coordinating nights of food and shelter for the homeless, consoling the bereaved by helping plan funeral liturgies at her church, or stepping up to assist neighbors, friends, or  folks who may need anything from a place to stay for the weekend to a ride to the doctor or maybe  a cup of coffee and some caring companionship  — Jeanmarie is always there.

Please come to celebrate Jeanmarie, support the moms and babies of Good Counsel,  and enjoy some good music at the Concert of Life, on Saturday, Dec. 3, 1:30 pm, at the Marian Shrine in Stony Point.

As always, there’s going to be a Concert for Life commemorative journal. If you’d like to take an ad or be listed as a supporter ($10), please click here for information.concert-for-life-invite-flyer-copy

Prolife Victories at the Polls

In spite of the nearly $100 million advertising campaign by Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, and NARAL targeting prolife candidates, we emerged from last week’s election with a prolife majority still in place in both houses of Congress and, of course, a prolife president, Donald Trump.

This bodes well for the advancing of prolife legislation such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 5 months, and the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act. And most important to our efforts is the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, which is made by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

On the state level, two incumbent prolife leglislators were re-elected — Sen. William Larkin of the 39th NY Senate District and Karl Brabanec of the 98th Assembly District. Congratulations, gentlemen!

Unfortunately, the campaign of Wendy Long against Sen. Chuck Schumer was not successful, but Ms. Long never backed down and kept prolife issues on the forefront during the election, keeping awareness high. Thank you, Wendy for all you’ve done for the unborn, the handicapped, and the elderly.

NYS Right to Life Endorsements

The New York State Right to Life  Political Action Committee has endorsed the following candidates who will appear on the ballot in Rockland County on Nov. 8.

President — Donald Trump

U.S. Senate — Wendy Long

NY Senate District 39 — William Larkin

NY Assembly District 98 — Karl Brabanec

No candidates from Senate District 38 or Assembly Districts 96 or 97 were endorsed. Either they do not hold prolife positions or, if they do, did not return the NYS Right to Life Candidate Questionnaire, the basis for making the endorsements.

For the  voting records of incumbents, just use the Search box on this site to search for their  names. You will find articles posted throughout the year about the various issues and votes.

Viva la Vida!

viva-la-vidaThe 8th annual Prolife Conference, a Spanish program  by the Archdiocese of New York’s Office of Family Life/Respect Life, was held on Oct. 9 at John F. Kennedy H.S. in Somers, N.Y.

“The world needs mercy and we have to respect all forms of life.  We need to fight for our children.  The battle continues.” Those were some of the words of Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR, in his opening talks at the VIII Pro-Life Congress held on October 8th at Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx and on the 9th at Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers.

This pro-life congress, which is primarily a full day of education on pro-life issues for the Hispanic community, was coordinated by the Family Life/Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New York.  The event attracted approximately 350 attendees, both days combined.  The day included workshops on euthanasia and assisted suicide, dealing with the loss of a child before birth, and the transmission of life in God’s divine plan. The two main talks by Fr.  Augustino Torres, CFR, were, “The Name of God Is Mercy” and “Saint John Paul II and the Culture of Life.” 

The underlying basic theme of the pro-life congress is that catholics are urged to be proactive in the pro-life movement and that to simply be a passive spectator is not an option.   On both days the pro-life congress began with the holy sacrifice of the mass with Auxiliary Bishop Peter Byrne of the Archdiocese of New York as the main celebrant.

Mary Loftus Named CDA ‘Woman of the Year’

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Mary Loftus, of South Nyack, has made 16 medical missions to rural Haiti providing medical care to Haitians in need.

Mary Loftus, Treasurer of the Rockland Right to Life Committee, was named Catholic Daughters of the Americas “Woman of the Year,” at the organization’s national convention in Pittsburgh this past summer.

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Mary receives her Woman of the Year award from CDA National Regent Shirley Sefried.

Mary is the Regent of the Catholic Daughters of America Court St. Anne, #866, in Piermont, N.Y. For the past seven years, along with her other charitable work, Mary has been a fundraiser and on-the-ground volunteer with the Friends of the Children of Haiti  (FOTCOH), an organization that brings healthcare and life saving support to over 15,000 Haitian patients of all ages at the FOTCOH medical clinic near Jacmel, Haiti.

At the convention — whose theme was Christ’s words “What you do for the least of my brethren, you do for me” — Mary, a nurse, gave a presentation on her medical mission work with FOTCOH.

She  told the audience, “I found out about the great need for the children of Haiti, and my heart has been in Haiti ever since; I have made 16 visits serving 2,500 in the village of my clinic.

“They walk three or four hours over mountains to come to the clinic. We have served individuals of all ages. Members of the New York courts donated over 2,000 pairs of flip flops for them.  As a nurse, I’m teaching classes for diabetes education as this is one of the most common diagnoses along with hypertension.”

Mary is also involved in making terry-cloth lined flannel diapers for the babies, and with an organization called Days for Girls,  she makes reusable personal hygiene product packages.

The “Woman of the Year” award was announced as a surprise as Mary was  walking back to her seat after she had just finished speaking. She said she was stunned and deeply touched by the honor she received — along with a check for $5,000 from the Catholic Daughters of America for FOTCOH.

Mary has personally raised $35,000 dollars over the years for FOTCOH and has organized local campaigns to collect footwear, clothes, diapers, and other needed items for the poor in Haiti. All who know her  will attest that she is an absolute dynamo of good works of all kinds, both here in Rockland — where she is a lifelong resident of Valley Cottage and the Nyacks — as well as in Haiti.

Mary is a shining example of what it means to be prolife, and we of the Rockland Right to Life Committee are very proud and grateful to have her as an officer, a co-worker and, most of all, a dear friend.

Below is the slideshow Mary presented at the Catholic Daughters of America national convention about her medical missions at the  FOTCOH clinic.

Hurricane Matthew Update:  FOTCH has reported that their clinic suffered minimal damage, and the Haitian workers and staff are all well. The Jacmel area was spared the massive flooding and mudslides other parts of Haiti are experiencing. There is water damage inside the clinic, downed trees, and washed out roads, but Mary and the rest of the November team will be able to return for their two-week mission on Nov. 6.

Click on a photo to enlarge it, and then scroll through the resulting slide show.

40 Days for Life Bus Comes to New York

bus-in-newburghOn Sept. 30, the 40 Days for Life Bus Tour came to Newburgh, N.Y., stopping before the Planned Parenthood office on Lake Street for a 30 minute prayer service.

A group of fifteen 40 Days Life for volunteers were there and about 20 people from Planned Parenthood (wearing pink in the photo).

“The bus kept driving slowly between us ” said a 40 Days participant. “The PP people pretty much stayed quiet the whole time.”

The tour is making stops in more than 125 cities to hold rallies and prayer vigils across all 50 states. Its purpose is to share its prolife message with the public and encourage the local volunteers who have taken up the challenge to pray for 40 days outside abortion facilities and Planned Parenthood offices.

Although Planned Parenthood does provide some legitimate healthcare services, it is nevertheless the largest provider of abortion in America, performing — by their own numbers — over 300,000 abortions a year.

Some other takeaways from Planned Parenthood’s own figures:

  • In 2013, abortions made up 94% of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services.
  • For every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 174 abortions.
  • While abortions rose, Planned Parenthood adoption referrals dropped 14% in one year, and prenatal care services dropped 4%.
  • Planned Parenthood’s cancer prevention services are down 17% over one year, and contraceptive services dropped by 4%.
  • During fiscal year 2013-2014, Planned Parenthood received more than $528 million in taxpayer funding, or more than $1.4 million per day, in the form of government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Taxpayer funding accounts for 41% of Planned Parenthood’s overall revenue.
  • Planned Parenthood reported more than $127 million in excess revenue, and more than $1.4 billion in net assets.

Life Chain Opens Respect Life Month

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Standing up for Life at the 24th Rockland Life Chain, at the corner of Route 59 and Middletown Road in Nanuet on Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 2

To the 2016 Life Chain participants,

Thank you to everyone who came to the Life Chain. I hope you realize what your presence meant.

May I ask you this?  How many of the thousands of people who drove past us last Sunday would have given a moment’s thought to the subject of abortion if we hadn’t been there?

Hardly anyone.  It’s certainly not something most people think about much. It was a Sunday afternoon. People were out shopping, listening to the game on the car radio, maybe.

And yet, for a few moments at least, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM saw something that compelled their attention — that crowd of kids on the corner, the graceful nuns in their blue and white garb, the line of men and women of all ages along the roadside.

And then, they read the signs we held:  Abortion Kills Children, All Lives Matter,  A Heart Is Beating at Twenty Days, Choose Life, Trust God.

And they responded. Some honked their horns in approval. Others smiled and waved or gave us the thumbs-up. Many probably wondered why this meant so much to us.  One or two yelled that we were wrong.  Others seemed to soberly consider what our signs had to say. Some probably cursed us silently.

But they all thought about it. Abortion, the killer of children.

We wish everyone would see that the way we do. But right now, that’s not the way it is. But as long as people stop to think and consider, we have a chance to change their minds — to stop the carnage.

And your being there last Sunday may have done just that. Perhaps you touched someone’s heart in a way you’ll never know of. Perhaps your presence chipped away the tiniest bit at the hopelessness that makes abortion seem the only way out. Or perhaps someone will begin to think, “you know, it’s just not right.”

It may only be a start, but all changes of heart have to start somewhere. You heard the call to stand up for the sacredness of life. God bless you for answering it. Please come again next year. You are needed so much.

Liz O’Brien, Chairperson, the Rockland Right to Life Committee

Below are some photos of your  from Respect Life Sunday. Click on a photo to enlarge it, and then you can scroll through the side show that appears. NOTE: There are four difference slide shows below. You have to enter each one separately to view all the pictures. Post this story on your Facebook page, send a link to to your friends. Pass the message on.

I — At Life Chain “headquarters” (northeast corner of Route 59 and Middletown Rd.) and Middletown Rd. (north).

II –Albertus Magnus High School ProLife Club

III — Along Route 59 (westbound)

IV — Along Route 59 (eastbound)